|Casa Fernandez Arsenio Oro Robusto|
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Casa Fernandez showed off several new lines. One of those lines is a tribute to the company’s master blender Arsenio Ramos. The Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro is a line that commemorates Ramos’ 80th birthday. This isn’t the first cigar to be released with Ramos’ name on it. About five years ago, the company launched the Casa Fernandez Arsenio, which has become one of the company’s more popular releases. Today, we turn our attention back to the Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro as I have had an opportunity to smoke this blend in the Robusto format. Casa Fernandez has been doing some great releases, and the name “Oro” is appropriate here because the company has truly hit gold with this outstanding release.
Casa Fernandez is a true vertically integrated company. They have the renowned Aganorsa farms in Nicaragua – for which the Arsenio Serie Oro uses prominently in its blend. They also have have made cigars in Honduras (Raices Cubanas), Nicaragua (at their TABSA factory), and the United States (at their Miami factory). Over the past few years, the company has definitely put a focus on its U.S. operation.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The Arsenio Oro is a Nicaraguan puro utilizing Aganorsa leaf tobacco in all three components of the blend.
Wrapper: Aganorsa Corojo (Nicaragua)
Binder: Aganorsa (Nicaragua)
Filler: Aganorsa (Nicaragua)
As mentioned the Arsenio Oro is available in three box-pressed vitolas. The cigars are packaged in 20 count boxes.
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 54
Toro: 6 1/2 x 52
Coloso: 6 x 60
|Box of Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro|
The Corojo wrapper of the Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro Robusto has a nice caramel color with a touch of red tint to it. There is a light coating of oil on the wrapper. There are a few visible veins on the wrapper while the wrapper seams are decently hidden. The box-press itself was more of a soft-press style, but overall the cigar was well-packed.
The band of the Arsenio Serie Oro is a deviant from many of the Casa Fernandez bands. It has a red background with gold font. Prominently displayed on the center of the band is the text “MIAMI”. Above the “MIAMI” text is the text “FABRICA DE TABACOS” and below it is the text “CASA FERNANDEZ” – both in smaller font. The text is surrounded by Casa Fernandez’s signature oval trim. The lower part of the band almost has a simulated secondary band effect. On that band is the text “ARSENIO Serie Oro” surrounded by a rectangular border. The remainder of the band has gold adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped off the cigar I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered cedar sweetness, wood, and a slight sugar cane. There was also a slight amount of spice coming from the cedar notes. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Arsenio Serie Oro to be excellent. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Arsenio Serie Oro picked right up where the pre-light left off. I got a combination of of cedar, black pepper and sugar cane sweetness. This time the cedar component had more of a cedar sweet spice. The cedar and black pepper quickly became the primary flavor while the sugar cane was a close secondary note. Meanwhile, the black pepper was prominent on the retro-hale.
Around five percent point, the cedar sweet spice remained primary. The black pepper receded into the background. The sugar cane sweetness floated in and out of the forefront. By the middle of the first third, some nut flavors entered the forefront joining the cedar. Meanwhile some earth notes joined the black pepper in the background.
By the midway point, the nut flavors took over as the primary note. The cedar joined the the earth notes as a close secondary note while the pepper was a little further back. In the second half, the cedar notes took on more of a cedar spice with the overall sweetness dialed back. There was also an increase in earth and spice.
The last third saw the nut flavors still in control. The cedar notes had more of a classic woody feel. The cedar sweetness wasn’t totally gone as it popped in and out from time to time while the sugar cane had dissipated. The black pepper was now closer to the forefront. The earth notes were also still present. This is the way the cigar remained to the end. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall the burn to the Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro Robusto performed well. The burn itself remained relatively straight from start to finish. There was some slight jaggedness on the burn line, but this was mostly cosmetic in nature and there was never any risk of this burn getting off track. The resulting ash was firm, but not overly tight. The ash itself was charcoal gray with some darker spots. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Casa Fernandez Arsenio Oro Robusto|
As for the draw, it performed very well. It was open, not loose. While normally I like a little resistance on a draw, more and more I find myself liking draws on a box-press that are like this. This was a very low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the Arsenio Serie Oro Robusto to fall right in the middle of the spectrum. I assessed this cigar as being medium strength from start to finish. As for the body, the notes weren’t overly heavy on the palate, but they still had enough depth for my liking. I assessed the Arsenio Serie Oro as falling into the medium to full-bodied range. In terms of strength versus body, I gave the body the edge with this cigar.
Overall, this cigar is another winner by Casa Fernandez. To me this is a cigar that has flown under the radar since its release this Fall. This Corojo wrapper blend was very different than any other Casa Fernandez Corojo blend, but that’s par for the course because Arsenio Ramos and team have been masters out of doing unique things with this wrapper. I found this cigar to be the kind of smoke that delivers a lot of complexities if you smoke it undistracted. This is also great cigar for a regular rotation. Finally, it is a cigar worthy of commemorating Ramos himself. I found this to be a cigar that either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast would enjoy. As for myself, this is certainly a cigar I would smoke again – and its one certainly would recommend a box split for.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro
Source: Purchased (one pre-release sample provided by Manufacturer was used as input)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: Casa Fernandez Arsenio Serie Oro (IPCPR 2014)